Another day, another split-squad game. This time the Tampa Bay Rays will host the Detroit Tigers this afternoon, and visit the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton this evening. Kevin Cash is planning to manage both. Tampa Bay is coming off a 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies which snapped their three-game win streak.
Emilio Pagan opened Thursday’s ballgame and was pleased with the results after he threw two scoreless frames. Pagan gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out a batter. He spoke about being used an opener following his outing.
I figured now’s the time to play with it, see what works for me. I didn’t feel like it was too much of a difference, maybe just playing catch a little bit longer before I got on the mound than I would in a relief role. I felt like it probably worked a little bit better than just jumping straight to the mound— Emilio Pagan
likeI did in Sarasota (on February 26, when he walked one and gave up four hits). There’s going to be some playing around with it, but I like the way today went as far as the preparation getting ready for the open.
Diego Castillo followed Pagan and gave up one run on two hits. Yet, Castillo also stuck out four of the eight batters he faced. Right-hander Cole Sulser — acquired from Cleveland in the Jake Bauers trade — followed Castillo and struck out four of the six batters he faced across 1-1/3 innings of work.
The New What Next
Ryne Stanek will open against the Tigers, pitching opposite of Spencer Turnbull. Jalen Beeks, Austin Pruitt, Chaz Roe, and Mike Franco also are expected to pitch as well. Wilmer Font will start for the Rays in Bradenton, pitching opposite of Joe Musgrove. Andrew Kittredge, Olive Drake, Adam Kolarek, Luis Santos, and Ricardo Pinto all are expected to pitch as well.
Rays 3/15/19 Starting Lineup vs. Detroit
- Robertson SS
- Pham DH
- Wendle 3B
- Diaz 1B
- Garcia RF
- Kiermaier CF
- Zunino C
- Bonifacio 2B
- Smolinski LF
- Stanek RHP
Rays 3/15/19 Starting Lineup vs. Pittsburgh
- Meadows RF
- Adames SS
- Choi DH
- B. Lowe 1B
- Heredia CF
- Perez C
- Coats LF
- Wong 2B
- Brosseau 3B
— Matt Duffy (hamstring), who has been sidelined since February 28, will hit in live batting practice against Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon. Duffy still plans to take ground balls Sunday and remains optimistic he will be ready for the March 28 opener. Meanwhile, Honeywell and De Leon will throw live BP for the second time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
— Blake Snell will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday.
— Tommy Pham has progressed in a strengthening program (he has been limited to DH because of shoulder concerns) and is slated to return to left-field by the middle of next week.